Chemical peels are scary and not for everyone when your skin is not ready for it. There is a lot of evidence for using exfoliating acids (alpha hydroxy-acids and beta hydroxy acids), but these tend to be very drying!!! If your moisture barrier is not up to par and you are eager with acids you can overexfoliate, compromise your moisture barrier then…anything you put on can be extremely irritating. In fact some have such great penetrability our skin is prone to being pigmented from them! (like glycolic acid. Mandelic Acid is a bigger AHA and a bit more gentle. Lactic Acid seems to be the most popular ingredient to use for cosmetics companies.)
Even if your skin is wonderfully hydrated, one needs to work up to higher concentrations of acids. The comments on youtube by first time acid users who decided to go for 8% resulting in chemical burns!!! on their hands let alone their face showed me you need to be slow and deliberate. If @trangle8507 is interested in acids I suggest she use something very weak and build up. The CosRx or Mizon acids are great for this. However… it could end up being too weak for her/him. Since there was a lot to consider I didn’t recommend acids at all as it could just be expensive water… I am currently using Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (BHA - salicylic acid) and CosRx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid (but this may be expensive water… I bought it because $11 for 100mL). If I can recommend anyone BHA or any one AHA to start, I would recommend the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA liquid exfoliant and for AHA I would recommend the Garden of Wisdom 2% Mandelic alcohol-free toner. Like me when you start an acid, start once a week or every two weeks until you can take it and then move on to once a week then 2x per week. Some people will find that is enough or maybe will need to have more frequent use, so some work up to daily use, such as (https://theacidqueenblog.com). Alli has a very intense acids regimen.
And unfortunately you cannot buy dermatological peels!!! on yesstyle! Most importantly a dermatologist is not included!!! (I am sure your dermatologist used some form of AHA or BHA, which science says is effective against hyperpigmentation).
Additionally if anyone is thinking of using alpha hydroxy acids, they must use a sunscreen daily. In fact all of this is absolutely useless unless you wear a sunscreen daily. I love love love the cosmo monster aqua gel sunscreen spf 50+ pa +++. AHA is photosensitizing so an spf of at least 30 is recommended daily. This is why I put on mine at night.
I have a lot of spotting (freckles? but a bit different than this) across my cheek area because I didn’t put on any sunscreen for 22 years. The surefire way of getting rid of this hyperpigmentation is lasers. I am not spending 3,000 USD or more on 4 rounds of lasers. They also do not sell laser treatments in yesstyle. If I had 3000 to play with I would go on vacation somewhere and keep my sun damage.
I personally had great experience with vitamin C. L-Ascorbic Acid, which is the type that all the research was most extensively done can help encourage our skin to build more ordered collagen. However it could be mildly irritating and slightly exfoliating. The biggest con of L-Ascorbic Acid is that it needs to be at a low pH to be effective. Again you do not want to attempt these products with a compromised moisture barrier. Melano CC is a very gentle vitamin C derivative that isn’t dependent on pH or oxidation. This is why I recommended this product to Trangle. To put your skin at a low enough pH, people use low pH cleansers or a pH adjusting toner. L-AA is most effective at pH of 2-4. Skinceuticals C E Ferulic uses a pH of I think 2.43. This is patented by the scientist who wrote the paper and then made his own skincare company, which is why this is so so so expensive. Vitamin E and ferulic acid further stabilize the formula. When vitamin C oxidizes it is useless and some evidence shows could cause more skin damage via radicals. However we are in 2017. There are at least three other companies (timeless, nufountain, sidmool, drunk elephant) that made formulations that have these three ingredients in it. I saw that the Timeless version of 20% vitamin C is on sale at Amazon. I elected for a different vitamin C when I needed one because it was $24 not $16 (right now timeless is 16 for 30mL). I use andalou naturals tumeric + c enlighten serum because it was cheap and when I asked others who used this product they said it was effective in fading their hyperpigmentation. I noticed this fades not only that but also my new redness that occurs after acne (postinflammatory erythema). It is pretty easy to spread not gross, I do not have to worry about pH (as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is not pH dependent nor oxidizes). However it is only soluble in oils, so I use it right after my facial oil. I use this every three days because vitamin C stays on the skin for up to 72 hours. We suspect that there is at least 10-15% MAP in this product, but the company, Andalou Naturals will not disclose this. MAP also can convert to L-AA to have those nice collagen building effects, but it is less studied and what % is converted is unknown. I don’t particularly have collagen loss concerns at my age, so I am perfectly happy with this vitamin C solution.
Another thing about L-AA is the minute it touches water it is unstable. The science lies in how to keep it stable. This is why vitamin C is tricky and companies like to charge a lot for it, even though vit C is cheap! The other product besides the Melano CC (am interested because it made bruising fade said one user and it’s super cheap), I would recommend is the Proud Mary 45% Vit C. It has arbutin higher up and a form of stable vit C. It has a lot of growth factors which…could be magic. I am interested in those growth factors for my pocking. Others also had great experience with the Scinic All in One Honey Ampoule. There are also a lot of raves about the Swanicoco Fermentation Care Serum which I have also been eyeing for a very very long time. They say it’s very brightening.